Capitol officials have reversed a policy that limited access on the east side of the building last month to staff, lobbyists and the media.
The east entrance was closed to the public on Feb. 1 amid renewed safety concerns stemming from the December terrorist attack in San Bernardino. While the north and south doors have external pavilions where visitors are screened, the east door provides direct access to the Capitol, which officials cited as a potential security weakness.
Debra Gravert, the chief administrative officer for the Joint Rules Committee, said additional security measures were put into place at the end of February, though she could not disclose the details. The east entrance was closed to the public for about a month but is available again now.
“Having the Capitol open and accessible to the public is extremely important to our elected officials,” she wrote in an email, “so closing the East side entrance to the public was not a decision we came to lightly, but was necessary at the time to ensure the safety of our employees, elected officials and visitors.”
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